With its sixth acquisition in 11 months, Pretium Packaging rapidly is joining the ranks of North America's largest blow molding companies. Pretium's latest purchase is Western Container of Corona, Calif.
``Western serves a lot of the same customers, has the same end-use markets, uses the same resins and has good management in place,'' said Keith Harbison, president and chief executive officer for Pretium.
Western is primarily an extrusion blow molding company, making large and small containers for the health-care, pharmaceutical, personal-care, household chemical and food industries. It operates eight extrusion blow molding machines for high density polyethylene and PVC.
``This fits in with our strategic plan for expansion,'' he added. ``Western has a full array of products from a size and quantity standpoint.''
Terms were not disclosed. Pretium will use Western's Corona plant and its 50 employees.
Pretium operates stretch blow molding at its Anaheim, Calif., plant, which it acquired last fall. The Corona and Anaheim plants will share decorating, engineering services and a management team.
``It's a big advantage to us [to be close to the Anaheim plant],'' he said.
Each of Pretium's plants focus on different end markets, depending on where they are located. The California plants focus on the personal-care and food industries. Other plants include Easton, Pa.; Hazleton, Pa.; Nashua, N.H.; Seymour, Ind.; Hermann, Mo.; Le Center, Minn.; Peru, Ill.; Muscatine, Iowa; and Omaha, Neb.
``We will continue to expand geographically,'' Harbison said. ``We will strengthen our manufacturing base, technology base and customer base; and we're actively negotiating on other acquisitions. We'll have $200 million in revenues by the end of next year.''
Pretium reported sales of $52.5 million for the year ended Sept. 30, 1997. The St. Louis-based firm placed No. 33 in Plastics News' 1997 ranking of North American blow molders. With its recent acquisitions, the company could move into the top 20.